There’s a lie Millennials believe that makes them fearful to speak their mind. The evidence of it lies strewn about their social media interactions. Here’s an example written by a 20-something woman:
“Real beauty comes from the inside for sure, at least in my opinion!”
Do you see the problem? She makes a statement she’s “sure” of. Then she apologetically qualifies her statement to ensure the reader knows, that she knows, it’s only her opinion. That’s a preemptive strike on potential backlash against her previous certainty. Now on steady ground, she’s regained enough confidence to add an exclamation point.
And after all the linguistic contortions, what did she end up saying? Nothing. Because what does mere opinion count for in the marketplace of ideas? Unless you’re in a marketing focus group or a judge on a bench, no one cares about your opinion.
What the young woman has essentially done is remove her voice from society. And she’s not alone. Many of her peers do the same. That’s an unqualified shame. We cannot lose the voice of a generation.
What’s The Lie Millennials believe?
At the root of this self-imposed muting is a lie – crammed down the throats of this generation via educational indoctrination and ambient cultural narrative – and it is this: Truth is dead. There is no right or wrong, there’s only right for me and right for you. Therefore, no one is able to make an authoritative truth claim. (Ironically, a self-contradicting truth claim accepted as the single exception to the rule.)
So accepted is this societal hokum that many young adults are unwilling to risk making an emphatic statement. Their expressions are hesitant, apologetic, and weak. They whimper rather than speak.
As someone who cheers for this generation, let me kindly say “Stop it.” You don’t have to settle for this.As someone who cheers for this generation, let me kindly say “Stop it.” You don’t have to settle for this. #truthclaim Click To Tweet
Counteracting The Lie
Yes, there are competing and conflicting truth claims in the world. (Man is ultimate. God is ultimate. The Borneo Pygmy Elephant is ultimate.) The solution isn’t to deny the validity of any truth claim or proclaim them all equally valid. That’s lazy. The solution is to engage our minds and evaluate truth claims for reliability – truthfulness. If we have an intelligent understanding of our basis of authority, we can speak boldly.
The fact is, we rely on the opinions of professionals every day – medical professionals, investment professionals, plumbing professionals. We value their “opinions” because they’re based, not on a gut feeling, but on a body of knowledge they’ve acquired. They’ve read and discussed as well as made mistakes and learned from them. They can speak with authority because they have a basis of authority. So should you.
The whole world isn’t black and white, but neither is it totally gray. Some things are right and some are wrong. Some things are true and some are false. My young friends, know what you believe. Know why you believe it. Then speak – unafraid, unwavering, and unapologetic.[As a practical help to you, I heartily recommend reading a journalist’s (former award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune) quest to evaluate a truth claim based on evidence outside of his experience. You’ll find it an invaluable model and guide for your own evaluations.]